When To Send NPS Surveys

Philip Cleave
September 23, 2022
Checking to see the best time to send your survey

If you’re to maximise your engagement with recipients and optimise your response rates, knowing when to send a survey can have major impact on how successful you are. Get it wrong and you risk obtaining a low response rate that you can’t glean any useful insight from. But get the timing right and you’re more likely to get a better response and quality data that you can take valuable actions with.

This is especially important when it comes to your customers and the surveys you send to improve your relationship with them – with one of the best of these being the Net Promoter Score® (NPS ®) survey. The NPS metric essentially helps an organisation to measure an individual’s customer satisfaction or loyalty towards them by asking them the following NPS question:

“On a scale of 1 – 10, how likely would you be to recommend our company/product/service to a colleague or friend?

There are two main types of NPS survey you can send to your customers, transactional and relationship, with each measuring different aspects of a customer’s journey with you. So, if you’re to get the most out of each approach you’ll need to know where they differ and the best times to send them.

Exploring transactional NPS vs relationship NPS

To better understand where each of these survey types fit into the customer journey and the best time to send them let’s examine transactional NPS vs relationship NPS in a bit more detail, starting with the more macro metric first.

Relationship NPS

Relationship NPS (also known as Relational NPS) is predominantly focused on getting a quick pulse check of the overall relationship between your customers and your organisation.

By giving you a high-level view of customer satisfaction and loyalty, it enables you to gauge the overall health of your brand, with measurable data, which you can also use to compare and see how you are improving year-on-year.

How frequently should you issue relationship NPS surveys?

The best way to answer this is to think about how much can change in a company, both positive and negative, in a relatively short period of time and how that can influence customer sentiment towards you.

From new products and services or special promotions to changes in your prices, staff turnover or company structure. There’s a lot that can happen in a year or an even shorter time period. And while the positive aspects can improve loyalty and increase your customer base, changes that your customers are not happy with can result in some of them leaving.

So, if you were not issuing a relationship NPS survey to your customers at a frequency of at least two to four times a year, you may be missing out on feedback from disgruntled customers who you might therefore have had the chance to reach out to and prevent them from churning.

In terms of best practice, sending this type of Net Promoter Score survey at least twice per year would be hugely valuable. However, if you were to send it more frequently than four times per year, then you could be at risk of causing survey fatigue among your customers and a low response rate, especially if you also send them transactional surveys.

If you do decide to send a relationship survey every quarter, it pays if you can clearly demonstrate the value to your customers of taking your survey that regularly.

To achieve this, think about closing the loop quickly with thank you messages, follow-up feedback review sessions, and demonstrating how you’re acting on your customers’ feedback.

Survey all your customers together and at consistent intervals

While it can be tempting to survey different customers at different times while varying the frequency with which they receive your survey, it’s better to maintain some consistency. Here are some reasons why:

Advantages of surveying everyone together
  • It’s easier to compile all your survey data and upload it all at once to simplify your data analysis
  • It helps keep the timing of when you issue your survey more consistent. And with everyone receiving your survey around the same time, they’re more likely to be primed and ready to engage with it when it arrives
  • It allows you to gather feedback data faster, and therefore helps speed improvements and business decisions based on that feedback
Advantages of issuing surveys at consistent intervals
  • It helps prevent your teams, particularly those in charge of follow-up, from getting overwhelmed with too much feedback all at once, which could harm the quality of those follow-up conversations
  • It allows you to have a steadier and more manageable stream of data constantly flowing in
  • It provides a quicker turnaround time when it comes to gauging the effectiveness of any organisational changes you’ve made, so you can be more agile with any follow up actions you need to take

You also need to think about some of the wider issues that might be going on with a customer, as that can also influence the timing of when you send them your relationship NPS survey.

For example, if a customer’s contract is up for renewal in three months’ time that offers a perfect opportunity to get a quick pulse check about how a customer is feeling about you. And if you feel there are warning signs that they may not renew, you can find out what’s troubling them and work hard to resolve them.

Similarly, if you send a customer a relationship NPS survey a few weeks before an important business review, it can give you ample time to collect and gather valuable and insightful feedback, which you can discuss in more detail during that review.

Transactional NPS

In contrast to relationship NPS, the transactional NPS is much more micro in focus.

It’s concerned with gauging the feelings of a customer after they’ve had key touchpoint interactions with your brand, which could be anything from a product purchase to the resolution of a support ticket. This helps gives you a better idea about, which touchpoints are working well or need improvement throughout the customer journey, so you can take the necessary actions you need to make.

How frequently should you issue transactional NPS surveys?

Compared to relationship NPS, timing transactional NPS surveys is generally a lot simpler. Whilst frequency matters most with relationship NPS, timing is of greater importance for transactional measurement.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to issue a transactional NPS survey promptly after that customer transaction has occurred. If you send your survey too late, you risk lower response rates and obtaining less accurate feedback as a result.

However, that time period can differ depending on the customer transaction, interaction, or touchpoint, as we see from the examples that are outlined below:

  • 0-24 hours following the interaction or transaction – this is especially relevant following events like a doctor’s appointment, the resolution of a support call, repairs or installation work and more
  • 0-3 days following a product purchase – depending on the product that has been purchased, most will require a bit of time to be tested and used before a request for feedback can be made
  • 7-10 days after a product purchase, if product shipping was involved – this is to allow for the extra time in the product getting to the customer before they can start using it

The best time of day to send your NPS survey

Finally, it’s helpful to think about what time of day, you’ve been sending your surveys, as this can have a major impact on your response rate.

If you’re targeting a B2B audience, then you only want to send it during the working week. It’s also advisable to avoid Fridays, as this is a day when surveys could easily be lost amongst the clutter of other accumulated emails that are still waiting to be addressed before the end of the week.

Similarly, you want to avoid issuing your survey towards the end of the day on any of the working days, where they could be ignored in the rush to respond to other higher priority emails.

Keeping your customers happy and engaged

We hope you found this piece interesting and useful and will be able to incorporate some of the tips we’ve discussed into your customer Net Promoter Score activities.

Ultimately, if you’re to improve your relationship with your customers, you need to keep them happy and engaged. So, if you can maximise their response to the surveys you send them, you will be well on the way to achieving this with the higher quality data that allows you to make the positive changes they want to see.

Drive more engagement with your surveys

Issuing your surveys at the right time is crucial to your customer engagement. But you also need to be using the right survey tools, if you’re to make your surveys easy for respondents to complete, and simple for you to analyse the data and take positive actions with.

Get started and create your first survey

If you would like more information then please get in touch.